A few months ago, the new controller of Syfy announced that the network was going to step back from non-genre programming and move into showing actual science fiction. They announced production of an adaptation of Isaac Asimov’s classic series Foundation, and began airing the extremely good mini-series Ascension.
This pleased me to no end. While shows like Sharkando were inexplicably highly-rated programs, they were crap, and not what Syfy should have been airing. That isn’t even getting into them airing reality TV shows or televising wrestling.
Yesterday the new chief at the Discovery Channel announced that they’re done with fake “documentaries” about mermaids and giant sharks, and that they’re moving, at last, back to more science-based programming.
I couldn’t be happier about these developments. In the Syfy announcement, the guy in charge lamented the fact that shows like Game of Thrones and The Walking Dead were airing on other networks instead of on Syfy. He’s absolutely correct; the network hasn’t had a prestige show since Battlestar Galactica went off the air, and even then they didn’t know what to do with it.
As for Discovery, yeah, the network went from showing responsible, actual science programming (including things like Mythbusters), to airing crap about a man being eaten by a snake and people gathering seafood.
I really hope this works for both of these networks, and I hope that History pays attention. They’re getting somewhat better, with Vikings being a bit silly, but at least historically-based program, and they have a series about the American Revolution coming up, though that looks more like “EXTREME REVOLUTION!” than anything thoughtful. Still, it’s a good start.
Er…wait…isn’t that background music by a British rock band?
Anyhow, it’s still progress! Now if we can get them away from programs about people harvesting lumber and driving trucks, and get Pawn Stars to focus on the items and their history and not the “hilarious” antics the “boys” get up to, we might just be on to something.
Oh, and on a side note, hopefully they’ll soon get around to putting a stake through the heart of that shitty American version of Top Gear…